Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
I didn't win a costume prize, but I did win the prize (a $10 JCP gift card) for my decorated pumpkin. The lasting prize for this failed costume was looking at my body in the tight dress and high heels and thinking, "Dang! You look pretty hot for an old broad!"
Monday, October 25, 2010
Here's what I told her. I don't know the source of the 55% long term success rate you quoted, and since the surgeon who spoke at the seminar refuses to perform band surgery, you're not going to get any accurate info from him. From my own research, I learned that long term success with the band is about the same as with gastric bypass - 65% at 5 years post-op.
Why isn't that figure 100%? Because obesity is a chronic disease and no bariatric surgical procedure can cure it. Why does the bypass seem to work "better" than the band? Probably because of the malabsorption feature. Since you've decided you don't want your intestines re-routed, that leaves the band or the sleeve as your WLS choices. If you don't want your innards cut up permanently, that leaves the band as your only WLS choice.
The band worked for me because I was a volume eater and because I was committed to making the lifestyle changes needed for long term success. My surgeon told me at the outset that if I lost only 50% of my excess weight, he would consider my band surgery to be successful. You might think, "Why would I go through all of this just to lose 50% of my excess weight?" Well, consider the alternatives...disease, disability, death. When I had lost "only" 50% of my excess weight, my co-morbidities were all either gone or under control, and I felt great - I felt very successful!
Just because a statistic indicates that 100% weight loss and lifetime maintenance aren't guaranteed doesn't mean that the weight loss and maintenance are impossible. I don't pay much attention to statistics any more. I don't want numbers to run my life, and as an old boss of mine used to say, "Figures can lie and liars can figure."
That anti-band surgeon could be right. In 10 years, gastric banding might disappear forever as a treatment for obesity. In 10 years, someone might have invented a non-surgical cure for obesity. In 20 years, someone might have invented a vaccine that prevents obesity from ever happening. And that would be wonderful. But in 20 years, I'll be 77 years old. If I had put off obesity treatment that long, I probably wouldn't have lived long enough to benefit from the treatment. So I decided to make the best of the surgical treatments available now so that I can make the best of the next 20, 30, or 40 years of my life.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
A while back, a bandster buddy asked me a good question: how do you stop eating? How do you stop eating when you haven't yet had a fill? And after you've had some fills, exactly how do you know to stop eating? Does the band make you stop, or do you have to make yourself stop? The answer is simple and complex at the same time: at some point in your journey on the bandwagon (I wish I could predict when), the band will start doing a lot of the work for you. Some of the work will always be up to you. You will have to make good food choices, control your portion sizes, resist emotional eating, eat carefully, and so on. Your band will never do those things for you. All your band will do is provide early and prolonged satiety.
Satiety is the sensation of having eaten enough food for now. It is NOT the same as feeling "full." If you eat until you feel full, you have overeaten. Overeating, or pouch packing, will eventually lead to problems. The pressure of the extra food in the upper pouch can displace the band (a band slip) and/or enlarge the pouch or esophagus (dilation).You can start your band work even before you have a fill. If you master good eating habits and learn to pay close attention to how you feel as you eat now, it will be a lot easier to deal with conflicting signals from your brain and your band later on. You will learn the soft stop signals (runny nose, hiccup, burp, sneeze, sigh, etc.) and heed them before that one-bite-too-many triggers a hard stop (pain, PB, stuck, sliming). Don't expect any of this to feel comfortable, natural or automatic at first. Changing your behavior (whether it involves eating, exercising, interpersonal relationships, etc.) takes practice.
Here is a list of things that have helped me learn to control my portions and avoid overeating.
1. Don't prepare more food than you plan to eat at one meal. I'm responsible for feeding dinner to two adults, but I used to cook as if I was feeding the 101st Field Artlllery. All that extra food is just too hard to resist. If you do end up with extra food, immediately put it in a sealed storage container and stick it in the fridge or freezer.
2. Don't put serving dishes of food on the dining table. Again, it's just too hard to resist.
3. Weigh and/or measure your planned food, then put HALF of it on your plate. Take the plate to the dining table, sit down, eat it while following good band eating skills. If you don't get a "soft stop" sooner, eat until the food is gone. Then ask yourself: Am I still physically hungry? Is my stomach growling? Do I feel faint with hunger? If the answer to any of those is yes, go back and serve yourself the rest of the food, take it to the table, sit down again, start eating, and go through the whole process again. If the answer is "No, I'm not hungry, but the food is delicious and I'm going to eat the rest of it because it's in my meal plan for today," you'll have to remind yourself about the consequences of overeating (described above).
3. If you don't eat the entire planned, measured meal, throw away the extra food or put it in the fridge. It's OK to eat it later if you get hungry again in an hour or so. Just don't eat it now.
4. When the planned, measured food is gone, the meal is over. Immediately excuse yourself, get up from the table, take the plate to the sink, and wash it (or rinse it and put in the dishwasher). You can go sit back down and enjoy the companionship of your friends or family, or you can move on to something else. When I'm done eating, I clean up the kitchen and then as quickly as possible, remove myself from the scene and get involved in something else. Whatever you do, don't hang around food any longer than you have to.
5. Another technique to try: just before you sit down to eat, set a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer buzzes, go through your Am I Still Hungry routine. If your food is gone before the timer buzzes, you have eaten too fast!
6. When eating in a social situation (like at someone else's home), you can still do the plate removal. Get up, say something like, "Let me help you clear the table" or "Can I get anything from the kitchen while I'm up?" and get rid of that plate.
7. When eating in a restaurant, ask the server to bring you a to-go box with your meal. Eyeball the amount of food you're going to eat at that meal and put the rest of the food in the box. Seal the box and put it in a tote bag (I don't leave home without my tote bag!). If it's still too tempting, take it out to your car and lock it in there. Don't worry about it spoiling in the heat or freezing in the cold out there. You are NOT obliged to eat that food later. If you just can't bear the thought of wasting food, keep a small cooler in your car.
8. When eating in a restaurant, the instant you get a "soft stop", put your napkin over your plate. This sounds gruesome, like you're putting a shroud over a dead body. But the meal is OVER - say goodbye. If you can catch the attention of the waitperson, ask them to remove the plate. If you're really bold (like me), carry the plate to the nearest busperson's station (you'll know you've found it when you see a tray covered with dirty dishes).
Now, I completely understand that you may try all of these tricks and still WANT to go on eating no matter what your band or your body has to say about it. But dealing with the emotional or mental issues that might be going on is beyond the scope of this particular article.
When you've had a chance to monitor your eating and your stop signals, please share them with us!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
But anyway, on the positive side, I had 2 NSV's at work yesterday.
1. For the past week or so, my bra fitter apron has been sliding around on my torso, kind of annoying. I finally realized why. The waist ties are too long. I don't tie them - I put velcro on the ends when I first got the apron last fall. So I brought the apron home so I can cut the ties and put new Velcro on them. I hate that kind of chore, but I'm happy to do it because it reminds me that I'm a smaller person now than I was a year ago!
2. During a slow period last night, I wandered over to the shoe department to chat with the 2 college kids working there and the college girl working in jewelry. That kind of chatting is frowned upon - if a JCP Secret Shopper caught us doing that, we'd be in big time trouble - but it's hard to suppress the social instinct. We've all learned little tricks to make us look busy when we're socializing. While we talked, I straightened garments on a juniors clearance rack. I do that so mindlessly that sometimes I don't even see the garment - it's just background noise, so to speak. But last night I happened to notice that some nice skinny leg jeans had been put on clearance, so I pulled one out to look at it and check the price. When I did that, one of the college girls said, "You're at the wrong end of the rack, Miss Jean. You need to move down a few feet into the small sizes." I laughed. I had automatically pulled out a size 19 to evaluate it for fit and appearance!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
This morning when I weighed, I was delighted to see that I'm finally back in the 130's, only 8 pounds away from my lowest weight. I've lost 15 lbs since my port repair surgery. To celebrate, I tried on some of my size 10 pants and they fit! Not very comfortably, but I could get the zipper closed! Hurray for me!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
My rep said, "Guess what Bandwagon's Amazon ranking is today?"
Since it was 83,740 yesterday, I said, "40,000."
She said, "Guess again."
I said, "4,000."
She laughed. "No, not yet. Today it's 8,221!"
I am simply amazed by all of this. My rep said, "We're going to work with you on this so you don't lose money, because this is a book with legs."
Or wheels, as the case may be!
Monday, October 4, 2010
I said, "Yes, I was aware, though not to the penny. I don't want to lose money on this book, but I felt strongly that pricing it higher than $19.95 would greatly limit its sales."
She said, "A book of this size [576 pgs] is usually priced at $25 to $35."
I said, "Yeah, and I could price Bandwagon at $1 million and make a lot of money if I could just find one person to pay $1 million for it."
She laughed and told me that it's very difficult to change a book's retail price once it's in the market, so she's going to talk to her boss about reducing my printing cost. I thanked her for looking after me.
Thinking about it after we hung up, I wondered if I had made a bad decision when I listed the book with Amazon. I just felt that Bandwagon would get good exposure there... that the Amazon listing was a way to advertise it. But that advertising is not free!